back to article Slim pickings by the Biggest Loser: A year of fitness wearables

Welcome back. Did you manage to take some time off over the Christmas holiday or were you (figuratively) chained to a (virtual) roomful of (literally) overheating blades? Either way, count yourself lucky simply for making it through to 2017 with your heart still beating. You are among the only humans left alive, after all, and …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    My design for a fitness wearable.

    My design would consist of two wrist-mounted devices, each weighing 1 Kg.

    They wouldn't motivate the user to exercise more through arbitrary goals, oh no. They would make the user exercise more through physics.

    If you really want, the mass can be made up of Ni Cad battery cells.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: My design for a fitness wearable.

      If you really want, the mass can be made up of Ni Cad battery cells.

      A good idea. Get a couple of hours life out of your iPhab/Phabdroid (or one 10 minute call), gain strength and lose weight all at the one time :)

      IIRC there was once a wrist band you could buy that was largely lead weights in a nice soft fabric, but NiCad's would work just as well :)

    2. Roland6 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: My design for a fitness wearable.

      re: two wrist-mounted devices

      I bet if you made them out of gold with a very short chain connecting them you would have a lot of customers...

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    It thinks I've run a half-marathon every time I brush my teeth.

    {Ahem}

    Paris. For no reason in particular.

    1. Shady

      Re: It thinks I've run a half-marathon every time I brush my teeth.

      Or an ironman triathlon, in my case.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It thinks I've run a half-marathon every time I brush my teeth.

      Paris. For no reason in particular.

      I've always considered the Hilton family to be slightly odd, not only giving a daughter a man's name, but one guilty of abduction and technical rape.

    3. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: It thinks I've run a half-marathon every time I brush my teeth.

      I had a fit bit for a while, waterproof.... I once ran a mile in the shower.

  3. JasonLaw

    Sorry for your loss Alistair.

    Glad to see it hasn't dented your humour...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

      Indeed… the list of the recently passing for 2016 seemed endless, and so many left us asking: "why him/her?" Seems to happen to all the good people in the world, and sometimes way before it seemed the "right" time.

      I only hope that in this case, Alistair's father had a long and fruitful life (from the article linked, seems he did… psychology is a very noble persuit). My condolences. Christmas will serve as a painful anniversary for a while.

      That said, I think that dry sense of humour will be crucial to getting through this. The light at the end of the tunnel isn't an oncoming express train unless you hear it toot!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

        "Christmas will serve as a painful anniversary for a while."

        Yes, it's hard enough losing a parent, but doubly so when it's supposed to be a "happy time" when it happens.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

      I'll add a Me Too here, very sorry to hear about your Father.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

        I'm not sure if adding a Me Too or upvoting are appropriate or if one is more appropriate than the other so I have done both, which could also be most inappropriate thing to do.

    3. saturn5

      Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

      Thank you internet. I have just found myself thinking about whether clicking Up Vote on an expression of condolence would be a good thing, or a sign that I'm a failure as a human being.

    4. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

      Indeed a bitter sweet article

      I'm starting to feel very mortal. Maybe I need to write a book of instructions about my "junk".

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

        "Maybe I need to write a book of instructions about my "junk".

        So that would be a "top shelf" book, yes?

    5. xeroks

      Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

      what he said.

      Despite a couple of big frights, all my loved ones are thankfully still on the same plane of existence as they were in 2015.

      "Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think."

    6. Novex

      Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

      Sympathies from me too. This year a close friend of mine lost his wife after a two year battle with cancer, so it's not just celebrities who have kicked the bouquet.

    7. Andrew Moore

      Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

      Likewise, condolences...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn kids have literally redefined figuratively to mean literally, through common use.

    Figuratively is now literally useless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Damn kids have literally redefined figuratively to mean literally, through <edit>literally using it all the time</edit>.

      Figuratively is now literally useless.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Windows

      It's worse than that. Figuratively now means literally, literally now means actually, and actual/ly is now redundant.

      Also due to the continuing decline in education standards, technically has become basically and basically is also redundant.

      Kids, eh?

      Icon is literally a grumpy old man.

  5. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Sorry to hear about your recent loss... treasure the good times.

  6. Colin Bull 1
    Paris Hilton

    You can stick it ..

    up your jumper. I still get brownie points for buying 'er indoors an original fitbit and it seems to work perfectly on her bra. Can cause puzzled looks if she wants to check progress so far in a pub. Been working solidly for years without a blip.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: You can stick it ..

      So their next wearable model would be the titbit?

      1. magickmark
        Trollface

        Re: You can stick it ..

        "So their next wearable model would be the titbit?"

        Or indeed a fit-tit?

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: You can stick it ..

        There is ( rather was) a magazine for it too.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit-Bits

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: You can stick it ..

      I'm just glad Hubert Farnsworth doesn't design fitness trackers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You can stick it ..

        "There is ( rather was) a magazine for it too"

        A poor second to "Health and Efficiency" for being banned from many respectable households. The contraband commerce of the school playground - or the windblown hedges - in the 1950s.

    3. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: You can stick it ..

      Hmm... I've seen girls running... There must be at least one extra step being recorded for every actual step once you get past a c cup... ;)

      1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        Re: You can stick it ..

        Depends on how many layers of sports bra she's wearing, a process my wife used to call "double-bagging".

  7. Terry 6 Silver badge

    left handers

    Do those designs mentioned come from companies that don't know some people (~10%) are left handed? FFS!

    (I'm ambidextrous, but wear my watch as a left-hander out of solidarity).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: left handers

      "I'm ambidextrous, but wear my watch as a left-hander out of solidarity"

      Like the younger generation's blurring of "figurative" and "literal" - they also seem to assign "ambidextrous" as having a different area of applicability. Usually abbreviated to "ambi".

      1. Shez

        Re: left handers

        I think ambi is short for ambiguous not ambidextrous when referring to sexuality

    2. Putters

      Re: left handers

      Hmmm - I've come to the conclusion I'm ambisinister - incompetent with both hands ...

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: left handers

      "(I'm ambidextrous, but wear my watch as a left-hander out of solidarity).

      Out of curiosity, is there a left-handed mechanical watch? The winder is in the wrong place for wearing on the right so you can't wind or adjust it on the wrist. I'm right handed, but my brother is a sinister. Never asked him if it's an issue or not.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: left handers

        You are right. I hadn't thought of that, being right handed when it suits me.

        These aren't great..

        http://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/cgi-bin/ss000001.pl?page=search&SS=watch&PR=-1&TB=O&ACTION=Go!

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: left handers

          There are a few decent watches around, a recent review

          http://gearpatrol.com/2016/11/21/left-handed-watches/

          and for those who aren't convinced of the need for left-handed watches this article sheds a little light:

          http://www.menshealth.com/style/4-reasons-turn-watch-crown-180-degrees

          Otherwise a fob or pocket watch can be useful (an old fashioned pocket watch really goes well with a waistcoat...

  8. Chris Evans

    Sorry and Welcome back

    My condolences on your loss and welcome back.

    Almost every day of December I looked your column and was disappointed!

    Very glad you have returned, here's hoping for a better 2017 for you.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Sorry and Welcome back

      I'm going to second this and raise a solemn toast to your father and to you, Alistair.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "and I can source a smartphone that doesn't require a rucksack."

    Ah - but if you load the rucksack with 20kg of dead weight you will get the same energy burn you had when you first started the exercise regime.

  10. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Sorry about your dad Alastair. Basically if you were good and/or talented then 2016 was a fucking terrible year.

    1. Putters

      Or, as my stepdaughter put it "For f***s sake, someone go and get David Attenborough and bubble wrap him until the New Year"

      1. bobsmith2016

        Your stepdaughter wants to suffocate David Attenborough?

  11. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Easy way to lose weight - I lost 10 kilos in 10 days whilst in hospital. Mind you, I did have colitis (a cousin of Crohn's disease). And no fitbits to be seen !!!!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Easy way to lose weight"

      Not what I'd call easy.

      1. The First Dave Silver badge

        Losing weight quickly has always been easy, but surviving can still be a challenge.

  12. JohnDomarX

    Senior Database Manager

    Not one to stand for being called an anonymous coward, I signed up and will say it again.

    My condolences for your loss Alastair.

  13. Joe Gurman

    Sorry for your loss

    Nothing gets to us like the loss of a parent. Hope you're doing OK and the fitness bit helps.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Terry 6 Silver badge

    The book

    I read the section you had linked to. It was very good and I may well be able to try to track down the volume. It's not often that El Reg ties together the main part of my career ( sorting out literacy and learning issues) and the minor part ( sorting out computer issues*). It's sad that it should be in these circumstances.

    *Very similar except that computers' behaviour isn't as logical.

  16. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I bet

    hes got a flat tyre around the waist now rather than a spare tyre.

    On the bright side , you could have it removed and thus never be able to get fat again for risk of tearing in 1/2 or leave it so you have plenty of spare skin if you get burned...

  17. Craig 2 Silver badge

    Congratulations on reaching your target. The article is up to your usual whimsical humorous standards and certainly has some truths about unforseen consequences of weight loss.

    However... the mistake you made with fitness tracker tech is just being too tight. Get a proper Garmin (or whatever brand) GPS watch. Much more suitable than the trendy fitbit type wristbands. No need to take your phone everywhere and GPS means it actually knows how far you've been. A heart-rate strap will more accurately track calories burned during static excercises such as spinning. If you're in it for the long run then it's worth the investment. Good luck keeping it up in 2017!

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Tom Tom do GPS fitness watches, and are typical of those that cannot desensitise when being worn on the right wrist instead of left.

  18. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Please feel free to flatter yourself. For myself, I missed my usual pre-weekend dose of Dabbsy humour and am pleased you're back.

    'Grats on the weight loss and condolences on the pater loss. My own still lives but is in a nursing home, needs constant care, can no longer express himself in words... There's still a mind in there, he stays awake and pays attention when I talk about work, but the peripheral systems are slowly failing.

    I cannot imagine anything more boring than me talking about work, but I suppose it's the only geek talk he gets to hear any more.

    Anyway, glad to have you back.

  19. Kiwi Silver badge
    Unhappy

    My condolences for the loss of your father

    It is bad enough to lose a parent. Around Christmas always makes it that much worse.

    My condolences sir.

  20. Roland6 Silver badge

    "Some are even purpose-built for being worn uniquely on the left wrist."

    This is a problem I've found all too common with conventional wristwatches at all price points - other than bespoke...

  21. Groklawzombie@mailinator.com

    Condolences Man - Sorry for your loss.

    Yeah :-(

  22. LongtimeLurkerNewbieCommentard

    My first ever post on El Reg - i just wish it were under different circumstances.

    Alistair, your ramblings are the main reason i come here, and like everyone i'm so glad you're back. I had been wondering why you were absent... didn't imagine that it was because something terrible had happened.

    Just wanted to say I'm truly sorry for the loss of your Dad. I raised a sombre glass to his memory last night and will do the same again later. Hope you're bearing up as well as can be expected...

  23. Queasy Rider

    Sad times

    Just lost a fave uncle (last of his generation)on my little brother's birthday. Yup, it hurts. My heartfelt condolences.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019